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Central Africa Politics

DR Congo to Build Mausoleum for Independence Hero, Patrice Lumumba

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The Democratic Republic Congo plans to honour the country’s independence hero, Patrice Lumumba, before its 61st Independence Anniversary celebrations.

Lumumba, who served as the first Prime Minister of an independent DR Congo from 24th June 1960 to 5th September 1960, was assasinated by state authorities under Mobutu Sese Keko on 17th January 1961.

On Monday, President Félix Tshisekedi said a mausoleum will be built for Lumumba. He added that Belgium will return the remains of the former PM, but did not give specifics.

The mausoleum will be built before the country celebrates its 61st independence anniversary in June 2021.

“On the sidelines of the celebration of the 61st anniversary of our independence, the country will show its gratitude to the Prime Minister Patrice Emery Lumumba, one of the national heroes, whose relics will be repatriated and who will finally be given a tomb worthy of his sacrifice for the nation,” President Tshisekedi said.

Lumumba’s body was never found and one of his teeth is believed to be kept in Brussels by one of the people who participated in his elimination.

A court in Belgium in September said that the tooth should be given to Mr Lumumba’s daughter, Juliana Lumumba, who had written a letter to the Belgian king asking for its return, according to the Brussels Times website.

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Central Africa Politics

Military Repels Attempt to Seize CAR’s Capital, Bangui – PM

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The Security forces in the Central African Republic (CAR) have repulsed an attack by armed groups seeking to seize the capital, Bangui, Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada said on Wednesday.

The PM added that the incident happened in the early hours of Wednesday.

The assault represents a marked escalation in fighting with rebel groups that erupted around a disputed Dec. 27 election.

The groups attacked towns close to Bangui last month but did not reach the capital as intended.

According to an eyewitness in Bangui heard explosions and later saw helicopters circling over the city.

“The attackers, who came in large numbers to take Bangui, have been vigorously pushed back,’’ Ngrebada said in a statement.

He also urged citizens to remain calm.

The gold- and diamond-rich country of 4.7 million has been hit by violence since former president Francois Bozize was ousted by a rebellion in 2013.

Thousands have been killed and more than a million forced from their homes.

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Central Africa Politics

DR Congo Frees 24 Jailed for Assassination of Ex-President Laurent Kabila

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The Democratic Republic of Congo has released 24 prisoners jailed over their roles in the assasination of former President Laurent Kabila.

Laurent Kabila was shot and killed by a bodyguard, Rashidi Muzele, in his palace in January 2001. The bodyguard was himself shot dead while attempting to flee the scene of the crime.

Prosecutors said the assassination was part of a coup attempt led by Colonel Eddy Kapend, Kabila’s closest personal aide, and a court sentenced him and more than two dozen others to death.

Now, following a presidential pardon by President Felix Tshisekedi, the accused were released from prison in the capital, Kinshasa, after nearly 20 years incarceration.

Kabila’s former ally, Kapend, is among those freed in what the Congolese government said was a show of “humanity, pardon, justice and national reconciliation.”

However, the move is seen as a further deepening of the rift between Tshisekedi and Joseph Kabila – who succeeded his father, Laurent, as president after his assassination.

Joseph, who stepped down as president in 2019 and was replaced by Tshisekedi, repeatedly resisted calls to pardon Kapend and the others.

For two years Tshisekedi was in a coalition with Joseph Kabila. But a deep rift has developed between DR Congo’s two most powerful politicians and Tshisekedi is now trying to distance himself from his predecessor and remove Kabila loyalists from the government.

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President Faustin-Archange Touadera Imposes Curfew in the CFR Over Rebel Attacks

President Faustin-Archange Touadera, who has won a second term as the country’s leader, has reiterated his commitment to peace.

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President Faustin-Archange Touadera of Central African Republic (CAR) has declared a nationwide, overnight curfew following repeated armed attacks in the country.

In a statement late Thursday, Albert Yaloke Mokpem, a spokesman for the presidency said, “A curfew has been imposed throughout the Central African territory from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.”

The curfew comes amid continuous rebel attacks across the country which have prompted United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, to urge all parties to cease hostilities and ensure peace.

The unrest which the CAR, a landlocked central African country, is currently experiencing, has been tense after the Constitutional Council rejected former President Francois Bozize’s candidacy for the Dec. 27, 2020 elections.

in a coup in 2003, the former general seized power, but was later overthrown in a rebellion which took place 2013.

Ever since, civilians, armed forces, and UN peacekeeping forces have continuously been attacked by several militia groups.

In 2020, 424 incidents of violence directly affecting humanitarian workers or property were registered compared to 306 in 2019, representing a 39 per cent increase.

President Faustin-Archange Touadera, who has won a second term as the country’s leader, has reiterated his commitment to peace.

Several opposition parties rejected the results of the elections held on Dec. 27 and called for their cancellation.

Senior officials from the United Nations and other regional organizations have urged all political actors in the country to respect the results from the Dec. 27 polls and to settle all disputes peacefully in accordance with the laws of the country.

This curfew comes in a time when the country, like several other African nations, is battling the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some say the restriction of movement imposed throughout the Central African territory from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m, could in controlling the spread of the coronavirus.

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